Eating healthier can feel like an overwhelming task for many – after all, food equals comfort for many of us, and depriving ourselves of that comfort can be daunting. But rather than committing to huge lifestyle changes, there are little habits that you can incorporate daily for a healthier diet over time.
1. Eat slow
Although it’s tempting for us to shovel food down our mouths when a mouthwatering meal is placed in front of us, it’s not ideal for our health. The pace of your eating is extremely important – it dictates how much you eat, as well as how likely you are to put on pounds. Fast eaters have a higher likelihood of eating more and having a higher BMI. Factors like appetite, how full you feel and how much you eat are all controlled by hormones. Hormones tell our brain if we’re full or hungry, but it can take up to 20 minutes for our mind to receive this message. Therefore, slower eating gives our brains that extra time to realize that our stomachs are full. So chew slower and more often!
2. Go with whole grains
White bread and white rice might be popular comfort foods, but they have limited health benefits. For a healthier diet, consider switching to whole grains, like whole-wheat bread and brown rice which taste just as good. You can also look for wheat bulgar, lentils and quinoa, which are all high protein alternatives. Refined grains are generally inflammatory, while whole grains can reduce the chances of diabetes and heart disease. Whole grains also contain high levels of minerals, B vitamins and fiber. Bread with whole seeds gets bonus points.
3. Don’t Impulse buy
Grocery lists are your best friend. By making a shopping list, you can meal plan more effectively. Writing down what you need before going to the store helps you stay focused and allows you to purchase healthier items. Once these items are in your fridge, you have no choice but to eat them since they
‘re already around the house. Impulse buying can also get experience, and lead you to wander into the danger zones of the supermarket where the candy, chips and soft drinks lie.